IN CONVERSATION - KRISTIAN TOUBORG

The current group exhibition ‘Trust in Mortals’ explores the complexities of the human experience through the eyes of four meticulous and uniquely different observers; from Harms’ steel-like relationships to his subjects and Moritz’s immersive empathy, to the technical constructs of Robles de Medina’s seemingly emblematic paintings and Touborg’s near-futuristic investigations into the relationship between humankind, nature and technology.

To gain some valuable insight into Touborg's practice and to get his thoughts on the exhibition, we asked a few questions.


The exhibition explores the complexities of the human experience on both a macro and micro level; where do you feel your work fits on this spectrum?

My work definitely has an interest in both human life at the smallest scale (at its most intimate, everyday and most ordinary) as well as an interest in the immense complexity of human history and the way that our behaviour, culture and technologies have evolved over millennia. Many of my works feature details observed from everyday life with my young family, or from walking around the neighbourhood I live in in Copenhagen, or from strange juxtapositions that come up when I am doom scrolling through Instagram or watching kids movies with my son. At the same time, I think it is imperative for good art to tap into a sense of shared being or emotional experience that transcends any one person’s individual subjectivities. Then again it is the specificity of one person’s subjectivity that makes art engaging, whether its attractive or repulsive, in the first place

How important do you think narrative and context is to the perception of your work?

Narrative and context are broad words but I think ultimately they are both very important to my work, although I am not looking to force feed anyone a specific narrative or insist on a singular context. For the past fifteen years, in many different forms, I have been interested to explore how the mysterious and complex structures of biological organisms can help us to understand the way we relate to one another and the many beautiful and fearful social structures that we have built together. I am really interested in trying to imagine how this narrative might project into the future and the sort of expressions and examples that we might be able to use to communicate our present conditions to people that are a long time away from existing.

Is there a work from another artist in the exhibition that resonates with you and if so, how?

I feel a deep connection to all of the works in the show. But when I first saw the exhibition installed I was really struck by the unexpected parallels between my own work and Igor Moritz’s paintings in the show, beyond the obvious similarity in our palettes. Even though our aesthetics and approaches to painting differ quite significantly, I think we both have a real interest in revealing this strangely beautiful and mysterious atmosphere that surrounds many moments of everyday life. Igor’s interest in water surfaces and light sources and the delicate sensibility that can be unlocked by a particular attention to the interaction between these two things also really resonates with me.

Should we put our trust in mortals?

Yes, we must. Who else can we put our trust in? We are earthly creatures and even if there are immortal forces we can trust in too, it is mortals that we will spend our short time on Earth with.